If You Close Your Eyes, You Can Hear Maren Morris Loud and Clear

Yes, there are some very sexy pictures. And we get that that may not be everybody’s cup of tea.

But guess what. If you can truly just “read it for the article,” then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how revealing Maren Morris can be with her words alone in Playboy.

That said, if you don’t want to go buy a copy or go to the website to read the piece where it lives, you can trust that the highlights we pulled give you a thorough look at Morris’ 20 answers to the 20 questions. (And we read the story all the way to the end.)

And if you think about it, the most powerful tool Morris has is not her looks. It’s her words. And here’s what she said that had us feeling really empowered and really glad that she bared her soul:

“I wanted people to know I’m still that girl, but I’m growing up and I’m okay with being vulnerable. It’s not a weakness. When you find an equal in your life, it’s not you giving up anything or any part of you; it’s sharing your whole self with another whole self. It took me a second to realize that’s a good thing.”

“There’s strength in the femininity of needing someone but also in having the confidence to ask for it.”

“Women in this industry are often pitted against each other. It’s not our fault, but we internalize it, because that’s what women do. We take on the weight, because we’re always so quick to apologize and make peace when we should be like, ’Actually, this is their issue, not ours. We need to figure this out. It’s not our fault there are so few slots that we turn on each other.’”

“’What’s it like to be a woman in the music industry today?’ is the question I’m most sick of being asked. My husband (Ryan Hurd) is an artist as well, and no one ever asks him what it’s like to be a man in the industry today. What would he say? ’Same as it ever was.’”

“I would love for people to do their research and know that I’m not just an artist. I started as a writer and wrote for other artists, and I co-produced my last two albums. I don’t get a ton of questions about my work in that realm. It’s always, ’So you changed your hair and, like, how crazy is that?’ It’s like, (expletive), I produced my album, thanks.”

“Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong — but most of the time I’ve been right. It comes from studying in the ’university’ of Nashville songwriting and learning from people who were better than me.”

“I’m a perfectionist until I’m not.”

“I’m just trying to say, while I have the success and while I’m here, why aren’t any of my friends getting played? I want to shine a light while I have it and not let it be just about me.”

“There will always be traditionalists in every genre who try to hold on to the old. I have respect for that, because there’s so much about country music — classic country music — that I love.”

“It’s good for our genre to cross-pollinate, because it makes for better music. It’s keeping everyone on their toes and not regurgitating the same kind of art on the conveyor belt.”

“If I’m shooting real high, I would love to sing with Beyoncé. That’s the pinnacle.”

“Anytime someone is courageous or doesn’t try to blend in, it pisses people off.”

“I get only one life here, and if I’m going to be a musician and do this thing I’ve been given a gift for, I would like people to know what I believe in. This is where I stand, this is what I want, this is the world I want my kids to live in. That’s why I speak up when I do.”

“Every year I’m trying to peel back my layers emotionally — and I guess physically.”

“I’m sick of the standards we’ve been forced into, and it scares me that I’m getting so fed up with certain norms.”

“I’m growing up, and that doesn’t necessarily mean becoming more mature or wiser or buttoning things up a bit more. Sometimes it’s letting it all be a little more freewheeling.”

“It’s so easy to fall in love, but to stay in love and to fall deeper into love? That’s work.”

“I like when I scare the absolute (expletive) out of myself like that. That’s when I feel sexy. That’s what gets me off.”

“A selfish lover is a no-go from the get-go.”

The last time Playboy featured a female country artist was when they put Dolly Parton on the cover in October 1978.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.